With the NFL draft coming up on April 23-24, Ruskell and the Seahawks were carefully watching AU seniors for possible draft material.
The 48-year-old Ruskell has nearly 20 years of experience scouting college talent. He was hired in February by the Seahawks to rebuild that team after a year as assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons. Prior to that he scouted for the Tampa Bay Bucs from 1987-1991, was the team's Director of College Scouting from 1992-2000, and their Director of Player Personnel from 2001-2003.
"It is always good to come out to Auburn," Ruskell told Inside the Auburn Tigers. "It is always a workout that is going to feature a lot of talented players. It is well organized. It is a joy to come out and watch them work. We were fortunate to have good weather so put the combination together and it was a good day."
Dozens of NFL scouts surround the finish line of the 40-yard dash with stopwatches in hand.
Ruskell and around 100 NFL scouts and executives made the trip to the AU campus to check out high-profile Tigers Jason Campbell, Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams and Carlos Rogers as well as players like Bret Eddins, Danny Lindsey, Silas Daniels, Junior Rosegreen, Jay Ratliff and others who would love to hear their names called on draft day one or two.
"These type of pro days are good because some of the guys didn't work out at the combine (NFL Combine in Indianapolis) or weren't invited to the combine, so you need to see those players as well to slot them in to where you think they need to go so it is valuable all-around," Ruskell said.
Players like quarterback Jason Campbell, a potential first or second round draft pick, were very closely scrutinized by the scouts. The same was true of safety Junior Rosegreen, who played very well on the football field, but isn't perceived to have the ideal size or speed to play his safety position in the NFL. Ruskell, however, is known for drafting smaller DBs like Ronde Barber and Dwight Smith.
Ruskell said that he enjoyed watching both Campbell and Rosegreen.
"Jason Campbell had such a phenomenal year," the Seattle president said. "You can't discount that. He is a good person, a good athlete. He didn't disappoint today so this helped him."
Campbell was very sharp passing the football and did well on his physical tests. Rosegreen's best 40-yard dash times went under 4.5 on some watches and there was no hiding his athleticism in the vertical jump with a 39-inch leap.
"Absolutely, Rosegreen is an example of a guy who improved his standing with his workout," Ruskell noted. "This pro day is another chance to compete and show what you can do. It is another chance to talk to scouts and personnel directors from around the league. It is real good for everybody--the league and the players."